Many seniors ponder where to spend their retirement years, especially if they have a medical condition that may impact their independence. Some choose to move to a senior living community so that they aren’t a burden to their adult children, while others recognize they need more help and prefer a community environment.
The decision to move to a long-term care community or remain at home is complex and different for each individual or couple. There are a variety of factors to consider, including what sort of senior living community to choose. If you are debating whether or not to make the move to a long-term care senior living facility, here are a few pros and cons you should consider.
Benefits of Moving to Long-Term Care
One great benefit of moving to a long-term care facility is that there’s almost always something to do. Between crafts, fitness classes, lectures, committees, social events, and other clubs, senior living communities strive towards providing something for everyone. Senior living communities are great for older adults who don’t have a large support network or who have been feeling isolated and lonely at home. You can participate in events as you desire or stick to your room or apartment.
Another benefit to moving to a senior living community is being able to enjoy chef-prepared meals. Depending on which level of care, you may receive three meals a day or purchase a meal plan to use at your discretion. Independent living communities vary in their meal services, whereas an assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing communities provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and occasional snacks. In addition, your meals are typically served in a common dining room. This gives residents more opportunities to socialize with their peers.
Instant Care & Support
When you move to a senior living community, you receive instant care and support. The care and support you receive will vary depending on which level of care you need. Independent living will not receive the same care and support as someone who requires skilled nursing care, but they can still experience peace of mind knowing they are in a secure environment. As you would expect, the higher level of care you require means all the more care and support you will receive.
Drawbacks of Moving to Long-Term Care
You May Need to Move Again
Depending on which senior living community you choose, you may need to make another move in the future, should your care needs increase in the future. Senior communities that are strictly independent cannot accommodate increased care needs. They may allow private caregivers, but then you’re paying for the community in addition to the care and support you personally need. Assisted living and memory care communities can accommodate some increased care needs, but you’re still expected to participate in some aspects of your care. As you explore senior living communities, keep in mind their capacity for care to ensure you pick what will meet your current and potential care needs.
Rates & Fees Can Increase
Another drawback to senior living communities is that they can increase their rates and fees over time. While it doesn’t always happen every year, it can happen and with minimal notice. In addition, there may be other costs that aren’t included with your monthly rent. Ancillary fees, such as outings, guest meals, activities, or personal fitness instruction, can be applied to your account each month.
It’s Not for Everyone
While there are many advantages to living in a senior community, it’s important to state that it’s not for everyone. Older adults who prefer a quieter life may need to adjust to having noisy neighbors or higher traffic in the hallways. Loneliness still exists in long-term care environments. It’s easy for a senior who lives in independent or assisted living to get lost and to hole up in their apartment. It can be challenging to make new friends, especially if there seem to be cliques. It’s often left to the senior to get involved and show up to an event. If you’re more introverted and not much of a joiner, your personality is not going to instantly change just because you moved into a senior living community.
If you are considering a move to a long-term senior community, let Senior Living Solutions guide you in the process. Our mission is to relieve the stress and ease the burden of finding the best senior living option for our clients. We are a complimentary concierge service that provides unbiased guidance and resources to individuals and their families exploring their senior living options. Our goal is to provide alternatives to nursing home care. Simply contact us to schedule an appointment. We’d be delighted to help you choose the next place you call home.